Carpenter’s Place to hold memorial for the homeless

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11666433712739.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.varley.net’, ‘“Many homeless persons die alone, silently and without public recognition. This is a special way to formally remember our homeless friends and neighbors who died in 2006.”—Sharon Peterson’);

The community is invited to attend a local observance of the Homeless Persons Memorial Day that will be 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, December 21, at Carpenter’s Place, 1149 Railroad Avenue, Rockford, This annual event sponsored by Crusader Clinic’s Healthcare for the Homeless Program and Carpenter’s Place is held to recognize homeless people who have died during the past year.

The “A Day in A Life” exhibit of photos taken by Crusader Clinic Healthcare for the Homeless clients and advocates will be on display. In March 2005, clients were given one-time use cameras to take pictures of what was meaningful to them.

According to Sharon Peterson, manager of the Crusader Clinic Healthcare for the Homeless Program: “Many homeless persons die alone, silently and without public recognition. This is a special way to formally remember our homeless friends and neighbors who died in 2006.” As it is the first day of winter and the longest night of the year, it is also a time to reflect on the unique perspective on homelessness and an appreciation of the basic things in life that are often taken for granted—privacy, independence, safety and security.

People experiencing homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their housed counterparts, according to a study released by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. This yearl, 10 homeless people who ranged in age from 22 to 51 years of age died in our community.

The Crusaders Healthcare for the Homeless Program began 18 years ago with a mission to provide health care, substance abuse and mental health referrals, assistance with housing options, and entitlement services to the homeless at 15 locations. During 2005, Crusader served 2,378 homeless clients.

For more information contact Sharon Peterson, manager Crusader Clinic Healthcare for the Homeless Program, 490-1688.

From the Dec. 20-26, 2006, issue

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